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Recommendations of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on the effective measures to combat racism and discrimination

♦ On 6 August, the HFHR’s expert participated in the session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) that monitors Poland’s implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

♦ The Foundation has submitted an alternative report – the HFHR’s expert talked about xenophobic and racist narratives, mounting hate violence and also pointed that the Polish Government has never condemned racist attacks and has failed to prevent such attacks.

♦ The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has issued recommendations to the Polish authorities on effective measures to combat racism and discrimination.

In its concluding observations, the Committee included the following recommendations regarding:

– hate speech – the Committee recommended that Poland should take all necessary measures to firmly prevent the spread of hate speech and negative sentiments in the media and on the Internet, and to take action against websites promoting racial hatred and, particularly in the context of election campaigns;

– hate crimes – the Committee recommended that Poland should, in particular, enhance the prosecution of hate crimes more effectively and to do independent research into the number of unreported hate-motivated crimes. Moreover, the Committee requested detailed information on investigations and prosecutions of hate crimes, including racist hate speech, committed by public figures and politicians;

– the situation of refugees – the Committee recommended that Poland should ensure that refugees are able to apply for protection within the territory of the Republic of Poland and that their applications are properly examined and that refrain from detaining migrant and asylum-seeking children and families with children;

the situation of Roma – the Committee recommended that Poland should take measures, in particular, to end the poverty and unemployment among this group;

– National Action Programme for Equal Treatment – the Committee recommended that Poland publicly disseminate the impact assessment of the previous (2013-2016) Programme and develop a new Programme;

– Council for the Prevention of Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance – the Committee recommended that Poland reinstate the Council or establish an alternative institution with a similar mandate;

Since 1968, Poland has been a party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which requires all its signatories to submit a quadrennial report on the implementation of the Convention’s provisions. State reports are confronted and complemented by information provided by NGOs in documents known as “shadow reports”. The dialogue on the implementation of the Convention between government representatives and members of the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination ends with the publication of the Committee’s Concluding Observations – comments and recommendations on states’ compliance with the obligations arising from the Convention.

 

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